Accordion doors divided rooms & filled doorways in vintage mid-century homes

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Vintage accordion doors like these were popular — and affordable — home improvements that almost anyone could install.

But these folding space-savers did more than just serve as compact doors. As one ’50s ad touted, “Here’s a wonderful way to provide an extra room instantly… without costly building or remodeling.”

Retro folding doors from the 1950s

Adding one of these decorative floor-to-ceiling doors offered homeowners a new kind of flexibility, which was especially helpful for small post-war houses.  “A folding door that makes a dividing wall is something entirely different. You can pull it out when needed; fold it back whenever you wish.”

You can still buy these doors nowadays — made with modern materials, as well as those that support the retro aesthetic.

Here’s a look back at three decades of these old-fashioned forms of functional home decor!

1950s folding door styles for an old-fashioned living room

Old-fashioned folding doors for children’s bedrooms (1955)

Old-fashioned folding doors for a children's bedrooms (1955)

How to add an extra room in 15 seconds (1957)

You can use these Modernfold doors “walls” to divide bedrooms; give you convenient floor-to-ceiling openings for closets; close off recreation room from workshop; add a dressing room to your bath. You can even have curved overhead tracks for attractive and unusual interiors.

It’s no wonder architects all over the world have been making such wide use of them! Whatever your space problem, there’s a Modernfold way to solve it. Custom-made in any size. A wide choice of decorator colors and fabric textures, easy to wash with plain soap and water.

Sold and serviced everywhere, you’ll find Modernfold doors at leading lumber dealers, department stores and decorator shops. Or look in the classified directory under “Doors.”

Vintage folding doors from 1957 (1)

Drama in your doorway: ’50s accordion doors

Old-fashioned folding door styles from the 1950s - 1959 (3)

Modernfold presents exciting news in folding doors! (1958)

Now, folding doors with new elegance… and for the first time Modernfold offers two types. The all-new wood Modernfold (dividing wall shown at far left) — finished in a wide variety of selected, matched veneers. And the fabric covered type with steel inner framework, in a choice of marvelous new weaves and colors — all washable.

Modernfold doors mean more usable space, more comfort and charm in any home. They divide rooms quickly and efficiently. They fold inside doorways; don’t crowd you or the furniture. So convenient for closets, too… let you see and reach whatever you want. 

— Modernfold’s new “Vivid” line — Folding doors and walls in striking shades with a luxurious and soft glow… the last word for dramatic color contrast. 

— Brand new line of popular-priced Modernfold doors… with the inner framework of steel; stunning fabric covering in warm neutral colors. See how beautifully the Modernfold new, new look of luxury can be adapted to any income!

Old-fashioned folding door styles from the 1950s - 1959 (1)

What a difference a different door makes! (1957)

See the change that a handsome Modernfold door makes! It folds inside the doorway, saving all the space ordinary door-swing steals. It can’t bang furniture or other doors, can’t block traffic or pinch fingers, can’t blow shut. But it can — and will — give a lifetime of convenience.

This door can take it! It has an inner framework of double-strength steel, yet opens and closes at a touch. Double-hinged steel plates, top and bottom, give a smooth, accordion-like action. And every hinge plate is welded to steel rods that prevent twisting, pulling or swaying.

Vintage folding doors from 1957 (2)

A Modernfold is all door. Not just one side, but both sides have evenly spaced folds, open or closed. And both sides are covered with a flexible, easy-to-wash vinyl fabric that won’t warp, crack, fade or peel. And nobody but Modernfold gives you such a wide range of beautiful colors and unusual textures to choose from.

There’s a Modernfold for any opening in any home or building. Don’t be satisfied with anything less. Modernfold doors are sold by leading lumber dealers, department stores, decorating shops. Or look in the classified directory under “Doors.”

MORE: Dozens of kitschy ’70s kitchen accessories your mom or grandma probably used to have

The neatest way to solve closet door problems (1957)

Vintage folding doors from 1957 (3)

Vintage accordion folding door room divider in white (1950s)

Old-fashioned folding door styles from the 1950s - 1959 (2)

Wood folding doors (1960s)

Genuine wood, with all its natural beauty… and the quality of fine wood paneling. Nylon glides, plastic pulls, privacy latch, vinyl hinges. Styles: Solid hemlock, prefinished solid Philippine mahogany, Birch veneered.

Retro folding doors in wood tones from the 1960s

Woodgrain vinyl folding door (1973)

A luxurious-looking door at a low price. 4-inch fiberboard panels are sealed between stain- and mar-resistant thick vinyl covering. Door wipes clean with a damp cloth.

Aluminum overhead track. Rigid panel core helps reduce room noise — helps improve temperature control. Real wood handles, magnetic latch, smooth sliding nylon glides, and color-matched vinyl bumper.

Vintage folding doors from the 70s (4)

Vintage folding accordion doors from the ’70s

Vintage folding doors from the 70s (7)

MORE: See 100+ short retro window curtains & cafe curtains that were essential ’70s home decor

Retro foldable doors in wood-look vinyl from Sears

Handsome woodgrained vinyl or slashweave patterned vinyl… lets you make 2 rooms out of one, rescue pack of the door areas, or add extra closet space.

Vintage folding doors from the 70s (6)

MORE: Vintage dinettes from the ’60s & ’70s: Take a seat

Sound-absorbing vinyl doors (1973)

Folding door as beautiful as it is functional. Antique-brass-tone-finished handle and magnetic latch. Overhead mounting track. Door moves quietly on nylon glides.

Vintage folding doors from the 70s (5)

JC Penney’s metal-framed folding door

Foam-backed upholstery-type vinyl covering helps insulate noise, heat. Elegant embossed vinyl cover gives a rich, luxurious appearance.

Vintage folding doors from the 70s (3)

Vintage folding doors from the 70s (1)

Vintage folding doors from the 70s (2)

MORE: Mobile homes: See vintage models from the trailer trend of the 50s & 60ss

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